JFK Senior Ball Through the Eyes of an Exchange Student
By Mai Houa Thao, Clarion Staff
For her first time in the U.S., Nur Mond Asmi or Effy, flew from her home in Malaysia and participated in Kennedy’s foreign exchange program. After receiving the opportunity to come to the U.S. from a scholarship program and three stages of interviews she became a part of the Kennedy family. She enrolled in Kennedy’s exchange program at the beginning of the second semester. She had gone to boarding school before coming here to the U.S. She currently lives with a host family and Kennedy alumni. Her host family’s proximity to Kennedy led her to choose Kennedy as her high school.
Seniors of Kennedy High School attended their Happily Ever After Senior Ball held on Saturday, May 13. Arden Hills Resort, which was voted multiple times as the Best Wedding Venue by Sacramento magazine readers and has been the premier wedding and event destination for 60 years, served as the venue for John F. Kennedy High School’s Senior Class of 2017’s Senior Ball.
In Malaysia there are no events like Senior Ball, “We don’t really have any dance, or ball, or prom in our school … we usually have a formal dinner… like a yearly formal dinner, farewell party.” The dinner is a yearly tradition. Unlike Senior Ball and Junior Prom, it is not restricted to any student or grades. “Usually there will be performances like singing and traditional dancing, speeches, or poetry, something like that.”
Since she had not experienced anything like Senior Ball before, she was excited to experience the high school tradition herself.
“I think that I should go to something [like this] I would like to experience because it’s like a one in a life opportunity.” Effy was amazed by the beautiful setting of the events. It was nice and neat, which she liked.
The Senior Ball began at 6 in the evening and ended at midnight. The Ballroom was decorated with over 50 tables and several big chandeliers. Each table had snow globes that read, “Happily Ever After John F. Kennedy High School Senior Ball 2017.” On the table were sets of forks and knifes with napkins ready to used. Each table was surrounded by decorative lights. Right next to the entrance was a bar serving water, coffee, and tea. There were even tables outdoors, surrounded by flowers and more lights.
Dinner was served beginning at 7 pm. The menu consisted of many healthy products, including salad, whole wheat bread, mixed veggies, roasted red potatoes, and pasta cappelletti. The meat served was grilled chicken marinade. But unfortunately, dinner ended at 8 pm.
When dinner ended, some tables in the middle of the ballroom were moved aside, revealing a wooden tile dance floor. During this time there were music for the students to dance along to. While most people follow trends and like pop, rap, and Mexican music, Effy indicated that the music was not her favorite. She would have preferred more slow songs.
As the ball neared its end, Ball Royalty was announced. The King was Elias Perez alongside Jessa Sagaral as Queen and Prince Odom Sin with Princess Melissa Aldrete.
Overall, Effy found the event to be OK, not great but not the best.
“Expectation hurts, so when we put too much expectation … and it didn’t turn out to be like that, it kind of hurts our feelings,” she admitted.
She also mentioned, “With the price, I don’t think it’s really worth it.” With that being said, the event was meaningful to her because she made some friends at a once in a lifetime experience.
Despite the flaws, Effy said, “I would love to [go to a ball again], if they change the music.”